Heritage speakers are speakers whose family language is a minority language inside of a larger community. They are speakers who acquire the language by virtue of family transmission, and in the absence of societal transmission. They can be found across Canada, from the urban core of Toronto, to geographically isolated aboriginal communities. Among heritage speakers we observe wide variability in the range of language abilities, from those that are fluent and dominant in the heritage language, to those who only retain basic comprehension of the language (receptive bilinguals). Intersecting with this are the range of educational and literacy possibilities that may or may not be available for the heritage language in a given community. Heritage speakers show distinct linguistic patterns that differentiate them from speakers in other communities, including patterns of transfer, overgeneralization, etc.
The purpose of this workshop is to share ongoing research on the language of heritage speakers, and discuss the implication of such research for theoretical linguistics, psycholinguistics, language variation and change, language maintenance and language revitalization efforts.
Talks will be 20 minutes each, with a combined question/discussion period at the end of each session.